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Religious & Holy Sites in Greece

There are large numbers of people who travel for religious regions, and Greece with a wide range of holy sites, is a very popular destination for religious tourism.

Religious Tourism in Greece

The need for faith and the search for answers has been the main reason why so many people travel to specific destinations around the world. Visitors to Greece come for a variety of reasons such as the great weather, the beautiful beaches and locations, the good food and wine and lots of other such reasons. Another is to pay homage to some of the religious and holy sites that can be found all around the country.

Greece is a very religious country, characterized by its deep faith and devotion to God for the past 2000 years. The dominant religious in Greece is Christian Orthodox which accounts for around 98% of the population. The rest of the rest of the population are Catholic, Muslim and Jewish. The Orthodox Church is the third largest branch of Christianity.

Over the centuries, Greeks have shown their Christian faith by building churches, monasteries and chapels all over the country, many of which are of extreme religious and architectural importance. The monasteries in Greece are sites of major pilgrimages for Orthodox Christians all over the world, and are almost always built in very beautiful and special locations, often on the sites of ancient sanctuaries and temples.

Guide to Religious Tourism

Whether or not you are religious, there are some places in Greece that simply inspire, and attract believers and non-believers from all over the world. The majestic rocks of Meteora are home to a number of monasteries which almost defy gravity and appear to be balancing delicately on the top of the unique rocks reaching out from the ground into the skies above.

Destinations for Religious Tours

There are a number of very popular destinations in Greece for religious tourism, and below you will find a brief overview of some of them.

Mount Athos

The monastic community of Mount Athos on the Chalkidiki peninsula in North Greece is the most religious location in country, and is home to 20 large monasteries, each of which operates as a sacred mail commune. There are also other smaller brotherhoods existing in Mount Athos, with approximately 1600 monks living there. The oldest monastery in Mount Athos is the Great Lavra, which was founded in 962 at the tip of the penisula by the Blessed Athanasios the Athonite.

Mount Athos

The monastic community of Mount Athos on the Chalkidiki peninsula in North Greece is the most religious location in country, and is home to 20 large monasteries, each of which operates as a sacred mail commune. There are also other smaller brotherhoods existing in Mount Athos, with approximately 1600 monks living there. The oldest monastery in Mount Athos is the Great Lavra, which was founded in 962 at the tip of the penisula by the Blessed Athanasios the Athonite.

Meteora

The area of Meteora in the Trikala region of Thessaly in the mainland is one of the most unique and inspiring parts of Greece. The huge dominating rocks that were formed by prehistoric rivers that shoot out from the ground reach up into the skies as if trying to touch the heavens. The entire area here is one of immense natural charm and beauty, and attracts huge numbers of visitors from all over the world. In fact, Meteora has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Today there are 6 active monasteries operating in Meteora, with the largest and oldest one being the “Great Meteora Monastery”. Due to the way the monastery was built on top the huge rock, the name it was given was “Meteora”, which literally translates as “suspended in the air”.

Meteora Monasteries

The second largest is the Holy Monastery of Varlaam, located opposite the “Great Meteoro Monastery”, which was founded by Hosios Varlaam in the 14th century. The “Roussanou Monastery” was founded in the 16th century, and most likely named after the first hermit that settled on the rock. The Holy Trinity Monastery ( Agia Triada ) is the most difficult to reach out of all the monasteries, but the views you can enjoy here are amazing. The “Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas” was founded in the late 14th century. The “Monastery of Saint Stephen” is a popular one to visit as there is a small bridge that connects it, and visitors will not need to climb up many steps.

There are lots of other monasteries and religious sites located all around the country including the Monastery of Saint John Theologos on the island of Patmos, where the Apostle Paul preached. This is a very popular destination for religious tourism in the Dodecanese, and attracts huge numbers of visitors each year.

There are lots of other monasteries and religious sites located all around the country including the Monastery of Saint John Thelogos on the island of Patmos, where the Apostle Paul preached. This is a very popular destination for religious tourism in the Dodecanese, and attracts huge numbers of visitors each year.


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